Aus - WI, Test 1, 2022-23

Aus – WI, Test 1, 2022-23

Two days after the first Test of Summer, Osman Hodja When asked why, as Australia’s incumbent Test opener, he has hit number 4 for Queensland in each of his five hits at the Sheffield Shield this year, he gave a stern response to a journalist.

«Is it really important?» said Khawaja. «David Warner hasn’t played a red ball game in six months. Why isn’t anyone talking about it?»

Khawaja’s view highlighted on opening day type the boot Test itself and Marnus LabuschagneWith four first-class games each under their belts this season, they’ve put Australia on a massive path in a first-in-all-all and nullified the West Indies speed attack on a pitch that offers more than their meager returns suggest.

of Labuschagne Love affair with Perth Stadium continued and his love of Australian conditions continues unabated as he shaped his second century in the space and seventh at home comprehensive. Khawaja likewise didn’t make much money, but still made a spectacular 65 that helped put Australia in a strong position on opening day and created a platform. steven smith to thrive with a fluid, undefeated half-century of its own.

He was Warner, who had not played a red ball game since his last Test in July and was the only first-class hitter to miss, crisscrossing the country playing eight out of five ODIs and eight T20Is in the past three months. different series and a World Cup.

It was so revealing that Warner was ejected, cutting Jayden Seales only 5 on his 16th ball in the fourth game. A full-blooded cover-up tried to foil his drive. It was full and wide, but not half a volleyball. Another day, the inside edge bounces off the logs and takes a single. But today he straightened his leg stump.

He could curse his luck. But he broke golden rule of hitting both at Perth Stadium and on the WACA grounds, to hide early and wait for your opportunities.

Khawaja patiently demonstrated a master class, repeatedly rejecting the West Indies’ five slip fielders. It didn’t open a quick guard drive until its 125th delivery. Labuschagne was more willing and the shot proved fruitful for him. But even he didn’t play until his 48th ball.

This serves to prove the challenge of being an all-format hitter in 2022. Labuschagne and Khawaja looked extremely comfortable on a pitch with 10mm of turf and two brisk jumps hitting some green monsters in Sheffield Shield cricket this season. . Labuschagne construction shield century He had a minor failure in his first innings of the summer but in three other games, two of which were completed in three days (including one in WACA). But the lessons he learned from those matches were evident in his shots. He was disciplined out of the stump. He carefully defended both feet. He waited for his opponents to make mistakes and attack.

“Some wickets we played were a little tougher,” Labuschagne said. «I think whenever you do leading runs in this format, it gives you confidence. You trust your game because you have runs behind you. A little bit more and you walk away from the process a little bit.»

Warner had as many chances as he could complain. He was well beaten. With a catching chance for Jason Holder, he pulled the slip rope over three times. He could also easily descend into deep spots late in the day. But none of them were the result of a blown guard drive attempt before reaching 10.

Khawaja’s strokes were almost flawless. Three half-centuries behind in Kalkan, where he faced more than 150 balls in two of them, he rarely mishandled, defended right in front of his eyes, left decisively, and played with soft hands when the rare ball came to the edge. He attacked Spinner and drove the fasts straight. His sacking from Kyle Mayers, leaving behind an excellent away player, came as a shock, as he did little wrong trying to defend his log from the angle around the goal.

Continuing the ODI series from where it left off, Smith also looked incredibly relaxed. developed the revised technique On the sidelines during the T20 World Cup.

But while Warner was also in great contact during the ODI series, the game of white ball no longer morphs into Test cricket. Cameron Green talked about the difficulty of reining in Test cricket from T20 this week, the difficulty of getting used to the rhythm of releasing the ball again and getting your point of contact under your eyes.

He hadn’t played a premium game before a Test series at the time. It was a 14-day training period when he was in quarantine in front of Ashes, where he could only prepare for the red ball after the T20 World Cup last summer. 94 and 95 points in the last two years brisbane and adelaide.

Warner spent just eight days and three red ball net sessions in Perth after scoring an ODI century in Melbourne last week. Unusually, he spent the end of these sessions wearing sunglasses at Perth Stadium on Tuesday. Warner usually doesn’t hit the day before white ball games, but he almost always does the day before a Test match. It was also notable how much Warner sought to hit the ball compared to Labuschagne and Smith in the nets.

Labuschagne noted that Warner’s fight to move from white ball cricket to red ball was the equivalent of him going the other way.

«I grew up in red ball cricket,» Labuschagne said. “So I think going back to my roots feels more natural to me.

«I think that’s probably an example for someone like Davey who comes from the white ball system, he tends to hit a lot more in red ball cricket because he has to go the other way. I’m probably going the other way in white ball cricket where I’m hitting to try and put my weight on the ball a little bit more work on my game I’m trying to figure out how I can get a little bit more power ahead of wicket in white ball cricket.

«Depending on who you are, I think it’s definitely a different type of preparation for different people.»

The fate of both men on the first day and over the past two years only further highlights what Khawaja has recorded.

Alex Malcolm is Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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